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'Museum' Lives at the Top

3 May, 2007 By: Thomas K. Arnold

The DVD industry received a significant boost last week when 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment's Night at the Museum sold 6 million units to consumers and rental dealers its first week in stores.

The film generated more than $100 million in consumer spending. Observers say sales were likely enhanced by an innovative marketing campaign straight out of the Barnum & Bailey Circus. Fox marketers put a giant dinosaur, similar to the film's “Rexy,” on a flatbed truck for a 10-city cross-country promotional tour.

Night at the Museum handily won the top spot on Nielsen VideoScan's First Alert DVD sales chart for the week ended April 29, bumping the previous week's top seller, Universal Studios Home Entertainment's Smokin' Aces, to No 4.

Night at the Museum also easily captured the No. 1 position on Home Media Magazine's rental chart for the week, generating an estimated $11.6 million in rental revenue.

The Ben Stiller comedy, which earned more than $250 million in theaters, was by far the most in-demand new release last week, eclipsing fellow newcomers D?j? Vu and The Queen, both from Buena Vista. D?j? Vu bowed at No. 2 on both First Alert and the rental chart, while The Queen, for which Helen Mirren won the best actress Oscar, debuted as the week's No. 3 seller and renter. D?j? Vu earned an estimated $8.6 million in rental revenue, while The Queen generated $7.5 million.

High-def disc sales for the week were 71% Blu-ray and just 29% HD DVD, with Blu-ray sales bolstered by the fact that Night at the Museum was available exclusively on that format.

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